Written by Brandis Pickard
We’re pleased to share with you our summer (yes, summer!) edition of the CISCRP newsletter. It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, most of us were living in some form of quarantine, and COVID-19 vaccinations had just become available for groups deemed most at risk. As CISCRP brings you our second newsletter of 2021, there’s anticipation in the air that as more of us become fully vaccinated, we can celebrate a “normal” summer. While we embrace the chance to resume the activities we love, we know the pandemic will leave a lasting impact and that we have an opportunity to inform our approach to clinical research based on what we have learned over the past months.
One of the things we have come to appreciate most is the importance of human connection. Whether it’s the sting of not visiting our loved ones or the challenge to have our voices heard when we aren’t in the same room as our colleagues, we have all encountered and conquered new obstacles over the past year. This has been especially true when it comes to healthcare. For those with limited access to technology or information, the burden has been particularly heavy. As we noted in our winter newsletter, and what we all need to remember as we move forward: the pandemic has underscored existing racial and economic disparities that we must acknowledge to remedy.
In this issue, we highlight how two supporters of our Patient Diversity Campaign plan to identify and address diversity challenges in clinical trial participation. Not surprisingly, communication is a key factor in their approaches. Honest communication—making that human connection—is critical to improving health literacy and education. It’s something that Melvin Mann, this issue’s Medical Hero, touches on when reflecting about clinical trial participation. Please follow the link to read Melvin’s inspiring story about fighting chronic myelogenous leukemia.
When thinking about transparency in health communication, a good place to start is with the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. In this newsletter, you’ll find an article that highlights how CISCRP is answering important questions about the COVID-19 vaccines—not only how they were created, but which populations were included in the clinical trials and what is being done to monitor safety.
We’ve also included some thoughtful insights from patients about the difficulties of clinical trial participation during the pandemic, and the solutions identified—some of which will likely change the way future trials are conducted.
Finally, we’re happy to share our own successes in maintaining our human connections and engaging the community in important conversations about clinical research. Read on to learn about our first regional AWARE for All webinar, our Medical Heroes Appreci-a-thon, and our Third Annual Plain Language Summary of Trial Results User Group Meeting.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support in initiatives like these, and in all that we do. We wish you a happy and healthy summer.
Senior Manager, Editorial